Senator Cory Bernardi. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Cory Bernardi has taken aim at pay increases given to federal bureaucrats during enterprise agreements.
The Liberal senator said pay increases awarded in the past had easily outstripped inflation and called the Australian Services Union's tax official, Jeff Lapidos, a dinosaur.
"In the last decade, annual increments in the median Australian Public Service wage totalled 42 per cent, compared to movements in the CPI which totalled only 28 per cent," Mr Bernardi said quoting the 2013 APS remuneration report.
"In other words, over the last decade the average public service wage outstripped inflation by 14 per cent and outstripped increments in the private sector by 6 per cent."
On Wednesday the senator criticised Mr Lapidos' threat of industrial action if Australian Taxation Office staff were forced to work another nine minutes a day. Mr Lapidos represents a number of employees at the ATO alongside other staff represented by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU)and more than 20 individual bargaining representatives.
"What a dinosaur this man is," Mr Bernardi said in the Senate.
"Surely the time has come when unions and management can try to negotiate win-win situations.
"With the country so deep in debt and deficit thanks to the Labor Party, clearly Mr Lapidos and the ASU and the CPSU need to get some perspective.
"They need to be relevant and they need to be reasonable, and by doing so they will protect the jobs of all of their members."
Mr Bernardi said an extra nine minutes a day would take the average working week at the ATO to 37.5 hours a week and into line with 72 per cent of APS employees covered by 74 other enterprise bargaining agreements.
Labor senator Doug Cameron called out "Work Choices is on its way back" when Mr Bernardi had finished talking.